German prosecutor requests Puigdemont’s extradition for rebellion
Court to make final decision on deposed case of former Catalan president
The German prosecutor has requested the extradition of Catalonia’s deposed president Carles Puigdemont for the alleged crimes of rebellion and misuse of public funds, following a European Arrest Warrant from Spain. The final decision is up to the Schleswig-Holstein court.
Puigdemont is wanted in Spain for his role in the independence bid. He left the country last October after being sacked following a declaration of independence. After spending some months in Belgium, he was detained in Germany following Spain's arrest warrant.
The prosecutor also requested the preemptive imprisonment of Puigdemont while the court decides on his extradition. The Catalan leader was released on bail after spending ten days in jail.
In a first assessment of the case, the Schleswig-Holstein court rejected the charges of rebellion, translating to the German crime of high treason, due to insufficient violence.
The Spanish Supreme Court, in charge of Puigdemont's case, provided new evidence that prompted the prosecutor to put the rebellion crime forward again.
Punishable with up to 30 years in jail, the crime of rebellion is the most serious offense of which pro-independence leaders are being accused. Under the Spanish law, the crime implies "an uprising with violence."
In total, 25 people are indicted in the case against independence, and 13 of them are accused of rebellion. While nine Catalan leaders are preemptively jailed in Spanish prisons, seven are seeking refuge in other European countries.
Belgium rejects extradition
Belgium rejected extraditing three deposed ministers two weeks ago. The judge dismissed Spain's European Arrest Warrant over "procedural defects" and "irregularities."
After Belgium's decision, Supreme court judge Pablo Llarena sent a letter to the German prosecutor asking him not to commit "the same mistake." Llarena stressed that the European Arrest Warrant "complied with all the requirements" and said Belgium's ruling was "against the principle of mutual trust" between judiciaries.